Tennessee Department of Tourist Development presents January 2011 Rythm & News for industry partners of Tennessee
Articles Industry Trends Calendar Noteworthy Tips
A Message from
Commissioner Susan Whitaker
A Message from the Commissioner

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Governor Visits TDTD

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Inauguration Update

Tennessee’s Tourism Industry is participating in the 2011 Gubernatorial Inauguration of Governor-elect Bill Haslam on Saturday, Jan. 15 by offering free and/or half-price admission to attractions throughout the state.

Among the participants in this celebratory gesture are the following:

American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge
Green McAddoo Cultural Center in Clinton
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville
Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga
The Museum of East Tennessee History in Knoxville
Casey Jones Home & Railroad Museum in Jackson
Graceland and the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis

For a complete listing of the many participants, by county, go to  www.billhaslam.net/attractions/.

If your attraction is interested in participating, please contact McCauley@BillHaslam.com.

What’s New 2011

The year 2011 brings exciting new exhibits, attractions, enhanced destinations and experiences to Tennessee’s already successful tourism industry.


Newseum exhibit "Elvis! His Groundbreaking, Hip–Shaking, Newsmaking Story" opens at Graceland and tells the story of Presley as he was portrayed in the news media.
The National Civil Rights Museum, assassination site of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., celebrates its 20th anniversary with a variety of special programs, all culminating on Nov. 12 with the anniversary of the museum’s Freedom Award event.

The Alex Haley Interpretive Center opened fall of 2010. The 6,500 square-foot center, owned by the Tennessee Historical Commission, features interactive exhibits, artifacts and mementos.


Whites Creek
The Fontanel Mansion & Farm, former home of Barbara Mandrell, is now open in Whites Creek. Also onsite are the Farm House Restaurant, walking trails and The Stone House Center and Gift Shop.

The Franklin Theatre will reopen early summer in downtown Franklin.  The restored theater will be a state-of-the-art, multi-use entertainment venue for live performances, movies and events.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum features, “Tammy Wynette: First Lady of Country Music,” presented by Great American Country Television Network. The exhibit runs through June 12, 2011.


Pigeon Forge
Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge received The Applause Award, the most prestigious award in the entire international amusement and theme park industry. In 2011, Dollywood will debut the new Barnstormer ride, a $5.5 million family thrill ride.

The Tennessee Valley Railroad, the largest historic railroad in the south, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Special events and all–day excursions are offered throughout 2011.

Johnson City
Gray Fossil Site and Museum is undergoing a $2 million expansion. A 7,000-square-foot annex will include a café, a wet lab and classrooms.
For a complete listing of what’s new in the tourism industry, visit press.tnvacation.com/media/story-ideas/. 

2011 Blizzard

The Tennessee Association of Convention and Visitors Bureau’s annual educational conference, Blizzard V, will be held January 27-28. The event will take place at Embassy Suites Hotel and Convention Center in Murfreesboro and is open to all Tennessee tourism professionals. This year’s theme is “Waves of Change.”
Presented by Miles Media, the conference features speakers and interactive presentations focused on those in the industry whose job is bringing visitors to Tennessee.  Coach Michael Burg will bring the keynote address on the topic, “This Ain’t No Practice Life.”  He focuses on seven decisions a person can make immediately to go to the next level.  Paul Winkle of Miles media will present information on how content marketing is job number one for every destination.

More than 140 tourism professionals attended the event in 2010, taking a wealth of new ideas back home to their own communities.

The complete schedule, registration form and sponsorship opportunity information is available at www.tacvb.net or by calling the TACVB office at 615/254-1233.

Don’t miss this worthwhile educational and networking event!

For more, contact Sheila Leggett at 615/254-1233.

Civil War

Civil War Trail Map


Civil War Sesquicentennial Documentary

The Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial documentary commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War premiered on Nashville Public Television at 8 p.m., Jan. 3. The documentary project will serve as an educational resource to preserve the history and the important role Tennessee played in the Civil War. 
The first episode, "Secession," airing numerous times throughout the month of January, explores why many Tennesseans chose to join the Confederate States of America and fight a new war for their independence.
"NPT joins many organizations in Tennessee commemorating the sesquicentennial of the war," said Beth Curley, president and CEO of NPT. "Throughout the state, and especially here in Middle Tennessee, there are markers and reminders of the horror and heroism of those dark days in our nation's history. As an educational resource, we feel that it's our mission to preserve that history, and provide context for viewers, now and for generations to come."

“Secession” produced by NPT’s Ed Jones and narrated by former NBC and MNBC news anchor John Seigenthaler, Jr. covers Tennessee’s internal struggle, including how the geographic and cultural divisions throughout the state determined loyalty to the Union or the Confederacy. The main players in the secession include Isham Harris-Tennessee Governor; Andrew Johnson-future president of the U.S. and W. G. Brownlow, known as a southern prisoner and a northern celebrity.  The goal of the series is to inspire those tuning in to dig deper on their own.  Hopefully, we’ll bring some clarity to this controversial topic, and create a few new history buffs in the process,” said Jones.

During the next five years, Tennessee Civil War 150 will focus on several areas of life in Tennessee, including the role of women, rivers & railways, music, the African-American experience and the Battle of Shiloh. The series will be supported by a comprehensive website and short broadcast vignettes that expand on the content in the documentaries. 
The project is a partnership of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, Tennessee Department of Education, Nashville Public Television and the Renaissance Center.  For more information, please visit tncivilwar150.com.

Discover Trails

Discover Trails text


Education commencement

Facts & Trends

Facts & Trends

Industry Applause

Industry Applause is designed to highlight and recognize the achievements of our industry partners.

Clinton Named as One of the Best Places in America to Raise Kids
Clinton has been selected by BusinessWeek.com as the "Best Place to Raise Kids in Tennessee." The rankings put the most weight on school performance and the number of schools, crime statistics and cost of living. Other factors included job growth, air quality, ethnic diversity and access to recreational amenities (within the county), such as parks, zoos, theaters and museums.

TSU Choir Performs To Honor Oprah At Kennedy Center Awards
Congratulations to Tennessee native Oprah Winfrey who received the Kennedy Center Honors award.  She was one of five recipients. Also congratulations to the Tennessee State University choir who accompanied Jennifer Hudson in a tribute to Oprah, who graduated from that institution. The program was taped in early December and broadcast on Dec. 28.

Frist Center for the Visual Arts Receives $20,000 Grant
The Frist Center for the Visual Arts has been approved for a grant of $20,000 to support the exhibition "Vishnu: Hinduism's Blue-Skinned Savior," and its accompanying education programs.

The Frist Center-organized exhibition "Vishnu: Hinduism's Blue-Skinned Savior," opening Feb. 20, 2011, is the first major museum exhibition to focus on Vishnu, one of Hindu's three major deities.  It will remain on view at the Frist Center through May 29, 2011. The exhibition presents approximately 150 paintings and sculptures made in India between the fourth and 20th centuries.   

Grand Ole Opry Voted Best Place to Experience Music

The Grand Ole Opry was voted No. 1 in Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Best Places to Experience Music category. The Opry’s Saturday night, live radio broadcast on Nashville’s WSM station was featured in the spotlight.

Now in its 86th year, the Grand Ole Opry is the country’s longest continuous radio show. The show has played host to numerous country music legends, including Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash. The Opry continues to showcase the legends of country music as well as the industry’s rising new stars.

Johnson City Indoor Track Championship Chosen as Best Collegiate, Multi-Sport Event
The NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championship was chosen recently as "Best Collegiate Multi-Sport or Multi-Discipline Event" by "SportsTravel" magazine.

The winning event was organized by the Johnson City Convention and Visitors Bureau, hosted by Milligan College and held at the East Tennessee State University Mini Dome March 4-6, 2010. The NAIA track event brought 109 collegiate teams and more than 3,000 athletes, coaches and fans from all over the United States and Canada to the area.

Memphis Receives its First Green-Certified Hotel
The Tennessee Hospitality Association has awarded the Doubletree Hotel Memphis its Tennessee Green Hospitality certificate for the hotel’s conservation efforts. In addition to being the first green-certified hotel in Memphis, the Doubletree Hotel is also the only green-certified hotel in West Tennessee. Currently there are 21 certified Tennessee Green Hospitality hotels statewide, including the Memphis hotel and two other Doubletree Hotels owned by Memphis-based Cooper Hotels.

Columbia Named One of America’s Best Places to Live

Columbia was voted by Livability.com as one of the best places to live in the United States.

The article cited the city’s rich history, green spaces and charm as reasons it received top ranking. “The historic district in the heart of Columbia, the county’s largest city, includes a restored courthouse and a revitalized town square bustling with shops, antique stores and restaurants,” the article read. “Outdoor recreation is abundant, from the 242-acre Maury County Park to Stillhouse Hollow Falls, a state natural area with a cascading 75-foot waterfall. Thousands of visitors come to Columbia each April for the signature Mule Day event, a four-day celebration featuring mule and horse shows, arts and crafts, a flea market and food.”

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